What is Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontics is the dental specialty that corrects anomalies in dental and jaw development, including crowded/crooked teeth and abnormal bites (malocclusions). There are 3 general benefits of orthodontic treatment:

1.To improve the appearance of the teeth and face
2.To improve the health of the teeth and gums
3.To improve the function of the teeth.

What Types of Braces (Appliances) are there?

Removable Appliances

These are braces that can be removed for such things as eating and sports. They are generally used for simple, small tooth movements sometimes in combination with fixed appliances (see below).

Fixed Appliances

Fixed braces are glued to the teeth and, as such, can not be removed. They are able to achieve complex tooth movements. There are many fixed appliance systems available either bonded to the front of the teeth or on the inside (lingual appliances).

At what age can braces be fitted?

Braces can be fitted at any age once all adult teeth have erupted. In children this is normally between 11-14 years of age, although there can be a wide individual variation in the rate of dental development. There are sometimes indications for treatment in younger patients, normally with removable appliances, where early correction is beneficial. Adults can have treatment at any age as long as they have good general dental health. There is no upper age limit to orthodontics! The advent of aesthetic and lingual appliances mean that more and more adults are choosing to wear braces.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The length of treatment depends on the complexity of each individual case. In general treatment with removable appliances take 6-12 months and those with fixed braces 12-24 months. Complex cases, often involving a combination of removable and fixed appliances, can take longer.

How often are appointments needed?

Once the braces have been fitted appointments are needed every 6-8 weeks. Occasionally additional visits may be required.

Will braces affect speech?

No – fixed braces should not affect speech although it can take up to a week to fully adapt to wearing them. Removable appliances may affect speech for a few days but this will return to normal.

Is orthodontic treatment painful?

No – the process of fitting the braces is not painful. Patients are always pleasantly surprised how easy the fitting is! The teeth may ache with the unaccustomed pressure of the brace but will settle with in a week.
Will braces affect the diet?

Once braces are fitted patients should be careful about what they eat and drink. Anything bitten that is too hard, e.g. sweets, crusty bread can break the brace and delay treatment. Fizzy and sugary drinks can cause permanent damage to the tooth enamel and so should be avoided where possible. Full instructions on the care of the braces will be given when fitted.

Will teeth need to be removed as part of orthodontic treatment?

The needs of each patient are individual to them. Additional space is sometimes required to be able to achieve the treatment aims. It is therefore appropriate in some cases to remove teeth in order to provide this space. Extractions can normally be done by your general dentist under Local Anaesthetic.

Will I still need to see my regular dentist?

Yes – it is important that regular checks with your dentist are maintained throughout orthodontic treatment so that the teeth can be checked for decay.

Will I still be able to play contact sports?

Yes – braces should not stop you enjoying your usual sporting activities. If this involves full contact, such as rugby, boxing or hockey, you must wear a well fitted gum shield.

I play a wind instrument – how will this be affected?

Wind and brass playing will usually be affected immediately after fixed appliances are fitted. Thin strips of wax can be provided and fitted over the brace to make playing more comfortable. In my experience it is still possible to enjoy playing music to a high standard with braces fitted.

Will the teeth stay straight?

Once treatment has finished and the braces have been removed it is important to hold the teeth in their new position. Removable retainers will be provided, normally to be worn at night. In some cases it is appropriate to bond permanent retainers to the inside of the front teeth. Retention should continue for as long as possible but particularly through the late teens.

Treatments Provided

Fixed braces

Richard Williams (our resident Orthodontist) uses the Gemini™ appliance system which has high quality metal brackets bonded to the out side surface of the teeth. These can be jazzed-up with coloured elastics!

Clear Fixed Braces

The Clarity™ appliance has clear, ceramic brackets which blend with the colour of the teeth, significantly reducing their visibility. This is chosen by those patients who would like less conspicuous fixed braces.

Self-Ligating Fixed Braces

Self-ligating systems use brackets with a built-in clip to hold the active archwire rather than the conventional elastic or wire ligature. This gives the advantage of more efficient tooth movement and reduced treatment time in some cases. Richard uses the Damon™ self-ligating system.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are fixed appliances bonded to the inside of the teeth and are completely invisible. Richard uses the Incognito™ system which is a fully customised appliance suitable for simple and more complex cases. It is the ideal brace for those patients seeking the benefits of fixed appliance treatment but with out any one else realising! Richard also uses the InOvation®L MTM which is a lingual brace used in cases of mild crowding.

Clear Aligners

Richard is a certified-user of Invisalign®. This involves a series of clear, removable aligners fabricated using computerised 3-D modelling. The aligners are virtually invisible and should be worn full time for 2 weeks before moving on to the next in the series. They can be removed for eating and cleaning. (Please note that Invisalign® is not suitable in all cases)

Treatment fees

Initial consultation – £80.00
Full records – £70.00 *
(Initial consult and records – £150.00)
Lateral Skull X-ray (if required) – £60.00 *

(* – to be included in the total fee if patient proceeds with treatment)

Adult Treatment

Fixed appliances – £2000-3600
Incognito – £4000-7000
InnovationL MTM – £2000-3000
Invisalign – £3000-4500
Simpli5 – £1500-2500

Child Treatment

Fixed appliances – £1200-2600
Removable appliance – £400
Functional appliance – £800

The fee depends on the complexity of the individual case and the fixed appliance system used.

(Please note that these fees only apply to treatment received at The Haven Green Clinic. Please enquire at Ewell and Cygnet Orthodontics for details of their fees)

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